HONOLULU — The Public Charter School Commission has voted to put a Big Island school on notice for possible revocation of its charter, citing a range of problems including financial irregularities, enrollment discrepancies and testing procedures.
The commission voted last week to issue the notice against Kau Learning Academy, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday.
The academy’s board president, Doug Flaherty, and treasurer, Jack Richard, attended the commission meeting and vowed to take action to straighten things out.
“Just so you know, from us as a new board, you guys have checks and balances that you have to follow, and we understand that,” Richard said. “We are not here to fight it. We are here inheriting this mess, and we plan on getting it corrected. And I appreciate the way you did this, and it will give us more time.”
The commission previously had issued a notice of prospect of revocation Nov. 29. It was amended and restated Dec. 15, and the commissioners also voted to withhold funding from the school except money necessary for its orderly operation.
That notice was based on the results of an audit that flagged a “lack of internal financial controls” and possible violations of labor regulations. The school’s founding director, Kathryn Tydlacka, who is now on medical leave, called those problems minor and said they amounted to clerical errors.
Commissioners rescinded their previous notice Thursday before voting to issue the newer, more specific version.
“By doing this, rescinding the old notice and issuing this new one with concerns that have come up since, it kind of restarts the clock in terms of your ability to respond to that and put corrective action in place,” Commissioner John Kim said.
The learning academy’s governing board has recruited new members and made leadership changes, but the commission questions whether even that was done properly.
The school’s governing board has 30 days to respond to the notice.
Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com